Welcome New COMPASS Teammates!

We are thrilled to welcome new members to the COMPASS team! We have found some amazing individuals with a deep appreciation and understanding of science and the science culture, knowledge about science communication and engagement, and real-world experience in the cultures of journalism, policy and law. We look forward to them helping coach and train scientists, as you’re looking to be more effective communicators, and to support you in connecting with other scientists, journalists and policymakers.

Please join me in welcoming Kristin, Amy, Stephen and Meg! Here’s a bit more about them, their jobs, and why they’re excited to be part of the COMPASS team.  You can learn more about each of them on our website.

Kristin2015Kristin Carden, Assistant Director

Kristin will help develop and lead communication workshops, ensure COMPASS is connected to relevant science and scientists across a diversity of fields, and build bridges between the scientific community and policy-makers (including some new work at regional and state levels). She has done fieldwork on Alaskan brown bears and hawksbill sea turtles, served as a staffer for the Under Secretary of Commerce and NOAA Administrator, and worked as a litigator. Kristin has a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a B.S. in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Arizona.

“I’m excited to work at COMPASS because COMPASS plays a critical and unique role in ensuring that scientists have the opportunity to communicate with policymakers, and the public writ large, on pressing environmental issues. And because working with COMPASS—and the fabulous COMPASS team—will afford me an unparalleled opportunity to draw on all facets of my interdisciplinary background to help build bridges between scientists and policymakers, and to ensure that science is at the table when environmental decisions are being made.”


Amy Mathews Amos, Media Outreach SpecialistAmyMathewsAmos_2015

Amy will help scientists navigate the world of journalism, giving them the tools and confidence necessary to share their expertise effectively. Recently a freelance writer, who has published in The Washington Post, Pacific Standard, High Country News, Ensia and other outlets, Amy also has a distinguished career in Washington D.C. working for the congressional Government Accountability Office, conservation groups, the Ecological Society of America, and charitable foundations.  Amy has an undergraduate degree from the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University, graduate degrees in environmental science and public affairs from Indiana University, and an M.A. in Science and Medical Writing from Johns Hopkins University.

“More than ever, the Earth needs the worlds of science, policy and journalism to meet.  COMPASS strives to bridge the gaps between these worlds with a talented and dedicated team that I’ve long admired.  I’m thrilled to share my perspective and experience.”


Stephen Posner, Policy Engagement AssociateStephenPosner_2015

Stephen will work to empower scientists to transform, frame, and catalyze the policy dialogue. He’ll connect scientists and policymakers at the federal level and design and lead communication trainings for scientists (especially with a policy focus). Stephen comes to us from the consulting world where he advised land use decisions and estimated the economic value of natural resources for both public and private partners. Stephen has a Ph.D. in natural resources and a certificate in ecological economics from the University of Vermont, and a B.S. in astronomy and physics from Haverford College.

“I am excited about the opportunity to support scientists as they engage with the policy relevance of their work, and do actionable research that has an impact. I am also excited to connect with policymakers and learn what kinds of science can best meet their needs.”


Meg Gilley, Policy Engagement SpecialistMegGilley2015

Meg will facilitate conversations between scientists and decision makers, help prep scientists to engage with policy audiences and lead COMPASS communication trainings. Previously, Meg worked on federal geoscience policy at the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) in Washington, D.C. She has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Environmental Science and Political Science and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington.

“I am excited to be a part of COMPASS’ work to bring together scientists and decision makers because I believe that science can help to solve many of society’s biggest challenges. I look forward to working with scientists to bring accurate and useful information to the federal decision-making process.”

In our open search for new teammates, we also identified a number of folks who work in journalism and who are excited and willing to provide part-time support for you when you’re looking for media coaching or communication training. Look for more on that, and them, in the coming months.

Our recent hiring blitz is a result of an increasing demand for our work coupled with some recent staff transitions. In addition to Chad English and Liz Neeley’s moving on to great opportunities, we also said farewell to Heather Galindo last month. Galindo (affectionately known by her last name to distinguish among the three Heathers on our team) was COMPASS’ Assistant Director for Science since 2010.  She was an exceptional jack-of-all-trades for our team, adeptly navigating everything from trainings to briefings to advanced communication workshops to science synthesis, on topics spanning oceans, climate, acidification, and water. We’ll miss her stellar presentation skills, keen eye for detail, knack for figuring out systems and processes, diligence, work ethic, and of course, her quick wit. We wish her the best as she begins her first term as a new Lecturer on Science Writing at the University of Washington Bothell.

We are grateful to everyone who’s been part of the COMPASS team and family, pioneering our approaches to science communication. We look forward to the new insights, ideas, experiences and networks that our new staff will bring to our team. Here’s to supporting you to engage!

About Brooke Smith

Brooke Smith is the Executive Director of COMPASS. She spends a lot of time thinking about the friction - yet incredible need - for science to be closer to society. She is in awe, and appreciative, of the scientists that are paving the way by getting out there and sharing their science, knowledge and insights with the wider world. It motivates her to ensure COMPASS continues to thrive, to support scientists to find their voice, and to join the most relevant conversations.


  1. Wow! I like this organization. Science very much needs you. Amy has helped me a great deal with my website and with editing – she rocks! I am looking forward to learning more about you.

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